Saturday, May 31, 2008

Getting a Real Job

That time is finally approaching.  My daughter is going to start preschool in August, thus rendering the hours of 9a.m. to 2p.m. of each weekday completely meaningless.  The only natural solution, of course, is for me to get a real job.

The thing is, I have a real job.  The pay is pretty good, lots of gratitude, hugs, kisses and the more than occasional bouquet of flowers.  The downside is that I can't deposit those thank you's in my bank account and head to the mall to buy that cream colored Coach bag that I've been eyeing for the last six months.

Mr. Faiqa (lol) has decided that he's not ready to play Daddy to kiddie number two just yet, so continuing on the current path of managing a baby is out of the question for now, at least.  Between the need to fill up my days while N. is at school and wanting to buy a three hundred dollar bag without sacrificing two weeks worth of groceries, the only option seems to be to enter the exciting world of employment.

First, I'm just kind of terrified of the process of figuring out what I'm going to do, exactly.  I want to do something meaningful.  Primary motivation, I'm not going to insult you by lying, is definitely money.  Still, I figure if I'm going to divert a portion of my energies away from the care of my family, I would like it to benefit someone in an important way.  

Because the truth is, when you're a mom, and I guess that this applies to dads, too, a job siphons off some of the creativity, energy and liveliness that you might otherwise focus upon coming up with cool ideas like building a log cabin out of carrot sticks with a ranch dressing lake as a snack for your two year old or maintaining the household tradition of daddy never ironing his own clothes.  Yes, ladies, I'm not sure that T. even knows how to turn on the iron much less use it.  

So, that's one level of inner resistance that I'm developing to getting a job for which I am monetarily compensated.  Second level of resistance comes from the fact that I really, really like my life.  I've established enough structure and order that I can reasonably anticipate what is going to happen next.  A job outside of my home is going to compromise that completely and totally.  I have no idea how I am going to react as a person to having two, make that three jobs. (Wife, Mom and Whatever I Decide to Do).

A realization washes over me at this very moment.  Order and structure are not really the natural state of things, though.  Life and the universe are inherently chaotic, aren't they?  Anyone who has lived in Florida during hurricane season can tell you that.  We were supposed to get, like, twenty hurricanes last year and I think we only got one.  The point is, life really is a box of chocolates and you never do know what you're going to get.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Catching Up with Canada's Capital

It's been a busy month.  In-laws flew in (not on their broomsticks, ha ha) about three weeks ago, left to spend a weekend in New York with some friends the following week, and then went to Toronto to see my brother-in-law's adorable newborn son.  So, between all that traveling, my mind is pretty much spent.  Forgive me for the lack of depth in this post.
I tend to be one of those people who try to rebuff all that others deem awesome, but I just really do love New York City.  I can't believe I don't live there.  Oh, yeah, I just remembered.  If I tried to buy a place there with the same square footage I have in Florida, I would have to be Bill Gates.  But, I wonder, what is square footage when compared with the prospect of going to the Met every single day of the week.
Visiting New York did make me play, however, the "what if" game in my head.   You know, what if I had gone to university in New York instead of staying in Florida, what if I had moved there after getting married, etc.  
About halfway through that thought pattern, I got bored and moved on.
I know some people find the "what if" game interesting, but I just don't get the point.  The same is true of Sudoku (or however you spell it).  Remind me, why would I want to play with all these numbers unless I am balancing a checkbook or doing Algebra homework? 
Anyway, New York was awesome and in some indescribable way, it was empowering.  Until I tried to hail a cab in Times Square.  Then, it was just demoralizing.  Oh, by the by, a shot out to the wonderful husbands of the ladies in the preceding photo who tirelessly and selflessly took care of our kids while we acted like high school students on Spring Break for three days in New York.   
Three days later, left for a five day stint in the Toronto area.  O.K., Canada has amazing foliage, their side of the Falls are waaay better than ours and the citizenry are just super nice. Other than that, not so impressed with Canada thus far.  Something about every building in Toronto just screamed, "I've been built by the lowest bidder for a government contract."  The suburban areas where I stayed was nice, but the city itself was just kind of shabby.  I just wasn't feeling the majesty that one expects when visiting the capital of a country. 
Wait, Toronto is the capital of Canada, right? Oh, crap, it's not the capital, after all.  I just googled it and it turns out Ottawa is the capital of Canada.  I can't believe I didn't know the capital of Canada.  Talk about demoralizing.  

P.S. Amreen, I hope you're happy now.

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Voter Apathy

"Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil."
- Jerry Garcia.  Yes, Jerry Garcia.

I have no idea who I am going to vote for in November.  There.  I said it.  No idea.
In the ninth grade, I had to take a course called "American Government." In this class, I only learned two lessons, both of which are summarized here:

#1: It should be illegal to leave a senile old teacher who should have retired ten years ago alone in a room with twenty adolescents who have as a group ingested twenty Snickers bars, forty packs of M&Ms, and twenty five Coca Cola's within the fifteen minute morning break that was allotted to them just prior to their American government class. 

#2: Low voter turnout in the United States can, for the most part, be attributed to a phenomenon called "voter apathy."

Lesson number one was imprinted in my mind the day that I talked this kid Sean into putting an entire packet of ABC gum (that means "Already Been Chewed" for those of you who are no longer in touch with your inner junior high school student) on the seat of my hapless teacher's chair, and lesson number two stuck with me because it outraged my inner geek to no end that people who could vote just chose not to because they thought it didn't matter.

In many ways, it was my first glimpse into human suffering.  Think about it, what is more tragic than someone thinking that they don't count?

Almost two decades later, I have found that far more tragic things take place than voting populations that don't think their votes count, here are a few:

* Stolen elections
* unjustified wars and the subsequent alienation of almost the entire international community
* a foreign policy that consists of quips such as, but sadly not limited to, "Bring it on" and "Wanted dead or alive."
* constitutionally questionable wiretaps, e-mail taps and "what are you reading" taps
* illegal torture of prisoners of war
* the kind of, sort of, suspension of habeus corpus
* ill thought out environmental policies that have led to an impending food shortage
* ill thought out economic policies which some doomsayers are saying will lead to a "depression" (I don't know about you, but I'm already feeling a little depressed)
* and, my favorite, last but most certainly not least, an impotent opposition party that doesn't have the gahones to impeach this guy

Speaking as an individual who has become politically mature in what some astute American historians are calling the "worst presidency in American history," I am not apathetic, I'm...well, generally pissed off and a little angry.  And not just at Dubya, but at everyone charged with the responsibility of running this nation.  Yes, Democrats in Congress, I am talking to you, too.

Voter apathy?  Hardly.  American votes counts, I know they do.  They count the way the principle of "buy low, sell high" counts in the stock market.  You're supposed to buy a stock at a low price and sell at higher one, right?  American votes are bought with cheap currency like fear, xenophobia, and ethnic and religious alliances.  Sadly, the currency that these votes generate for politicians does not translate into health care, better schools or a safer world for Americans.  The currency these votes generate translate simply into the ability to win another election.  The point is that I'm apprehensive about casting my vote not because I don't think it will count.  I'm apprehensive regarding voting because I am not sure exactly what my vote will count for

Because I'm an Independent, Florida's closed primary let me off the hook in terms of making that decision in January.  But, November is approaching faster than I care to admit.  I have thoughts on the candidates which I am going to present in freestyle...

John McCain
That beach boys song, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran ... I still can't believe he said that, what a jerk ...a hundred years, he's joking, right ... talk about a flip flopper, wasn't he against the war a few years ago ... a summer gas tax break, whoop-dee freakin' doo, now i can buy a Snickers bar (in honor of my 9th grade American government teacher) with all the savings ...  he's not looking too healthy, he should really work out a health care plan soon because I think he's going to need it in order to get to the end of his term if he gets elected...

Hillary Clinton
A total and utter disappointment thus far... she's such a credible and intelligent politician, why is she being so mean to Barack Obama ... red phones, mailers, why not just run on your own merits instead of trying to tear other down ... obliterate Iran, obliterate, that's harsh ... reading letters from a "fan" at some Midwest primary where the writer is thanking her for running because it shows her daughter what is possible for women in the U.S, that makes me uneasy, doesn't that kind of sound like, "vote for me because I'm a girl"... I'd always admired her, but something doesn't feel right about her...

Barack Obama
He's not Muslim, but even if he were, does that make him less American, that issue makes me feel sad ... proud of him, he represents what any American can become ... not very experienced, though... a few Pakistani friends told me he said he was willing to bomb Pakistan, so I looked up the speech... turns out he said he would bomb the Northern frontier if  General M. wouldn't contain the terrorist cells there ... still bad news, but, let's be real, they're all willing to bomb Pakistan, at least he made himself accountable to some set of parameters ... at least, he didn't sing a tune set to a Beach Boys song, or use the word "obliterate"... are people really going to vote for someone whose middle name is Hussein, it shouldn't matter, but it does... idealistic, too idealistic, I don't know, I kind of need a little idealism in my life... people don't think he's going to win if he does end up running as the Democratic candidate, but that doesn't bother me, I am a Red Sox fan, after all.

That's it.  Looks like Obama is in the lead.  I'll keep you posted.